Monday, August 7, 2017 Great Horned Owl

Seward, Alaska

A GREAT HORNED OWL has been hooting sporadically in the late evening from the slopes of Mt Marathon, noted on July 28 and July 31.

On an overcast, mystery-shrouded evening on August 7 at 10:45 pm, I heard him on Little Bear Mountain, just south of Mt Marathon. His low query rolled down from the black spruce trees silhouetted against the gray sky.

“Whoo, hoo-did-did-dee, whoo, whoo? Whooo?”

I walked up as close to the base as I could and listened, enthralled. Who, indeed? After long pauses, he repeated his question, but no one answered.

So I tried, attempting to replicate the syncopated part in the middle, get the pauses right, and the appropriate pitch. It wasn’t very good, but after a long silence (consideration, deliberation, and rating of the effort?) I SAW the owl fly from one hidden perch across the darkening sky to another spruce on the skyline. What a thrill!

I waited for a long time, savoring the quiet of the evening at the edge of the heart of town, hoping for another question. But none came, and so I turned back and walked the rest of the block home, feeling enriched. Whooooo?

Happy Birding!
Carol Griswold

Seward Sporadic Bird Report Reporter   

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